Smart Transport

DfT launches £3m coach industry support package

The Department for Transport (DfT) has put a £3 million support package together to help coach operators provide additional services over Christmas.

The funding will be made available to companies like National Express, Megabus and Snap.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “This funding for the coach sector ensures there are more options available for people wanting to travel to celebrate with loved ones and friends.

“We remind everyone that it’s essential to plan their journey and book ahead, be considerate of other passengers and staff across our transport network, and follow the guidance, including keeping space and wearing a face covering, unless exempt, on public transport.”

The Government has set out that people can travel to form a Christmas bubble, composed of no more than three households, between 23 and 27 December.

Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

To minimise disruption and help people travel safely to their bubble, the Government set out a series of measures last week, including:

  • lifting 100s of miles of roadworks
  • enhancing rail services
  • postponing and accelerating rail engineering works
  • cutting ticket charges

Chris Hardy, National Express Coach managing director, said: “Maintaining the UK’s largest network of scheduled coach services has been challenging but we’ve worked hard to provide safe, low-carbon travel over the festive season.

“This funding will allow us to increase the frequency of some routes, introduce new direct services and add more locations on our 23 to 27 December timetable.”

Mark Venables, Megabus managing director, said public transport  continues to play a vital role in connecting communities.

Venables said: “We’re pleased to have worked in partnership with the DfT to provide thousands of additional seats on our Megabus coaches this Christmas, and we’ll be running right throughout the festive period, including on Christmas Day.”

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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